For many of us, life involves a tension between what we want and what we actually have.  When we want something other than what we have and this wanting turns to pain, we enter the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT)™.

We may feel victimized because we cannot have what we want; or we may persecute ourselves knowing that what we want (more sugar, another shopping spree, the need to be right) isn’t good for us; or we may be wanting “something” that will rescue us from whatever discomfort we may feel.   Once the pain of wanting begins, there’s no telling how the drama will manifest.

Donna tried an experiment to see how “the pain of wanting” would show up for her.  She loves dark chocolate and mid-afternoon on most days she enjoys a small piece.  She experimented with placing a piece of her favorite chocolate on a table in front of her and didn’t allow herself to eat it.   She gazed upon the chocolate feeling the rise of “wanting the chocolate” bubble up inside of her.

Here’s what Donna noticed:  “I was aware of the feeling of wanting as tightness in my chest.  I wanted both the pleasurable taste, as well as relief from the pain of wanting.  The wanting seemed unfair.  I felt a mild sense of being victimized by something I wanted and felt I deserved and should have.  The rescuing part of my mind was sure I would have the chocolate as soon as the experiment was over.  Another part of my mind challenged me to let go of the wanting.   As I sat with the wanting and noticed the feelings in my body, I began to realize that I could step away from it. I liked the freedom from the wanting.  By observing the pain of the wanting, and being curious about it, I was able to be at choice about whether I would eat the chocolate when the experiment was over.”

The embodied and unpleasant feeling of wanting does not have to possess us.  We can observe the discomfort of our attachments to what we want and learn to be curious and observe the longing.

Living a creative life begins with becoming more aware of our attachments and desires. By noticing the “wanting,” the pain begins to dissolve and the journey toward a more empowered life begins.